February 27, 2014 Subject:
Strange, bizarre currents in this film. What is truly weird is that our parents and grandparents might have thought the radio show was funny. A group called "The Vagabonds" keeps reappearing and getting thrown out. They do a number in blackface, where the director seems to believe they are really African American. They do another number in drag at the end. I'm sorry Art Linkletter ever had to sink this low. Still, I'll give the film 3 stars as a cultural curiosity.
February 21, 2014 Subject:
For Fans Of The 40's Only
Particularly in the 1940's, popular Radio programs got turned into movies with some regularity to hit or miss reactions. People wanted to see faces of those from radio that they only heard far off in the hinterlands. Many were successful and even had a follow-up or two. "I Love A Mystery" for one among many others. Several others got one-shots based on a particular character. I have reviewed a couple of those in previous months and years here at Archive.org
This particular film, had I been Pine and/or Thomas at the "B" unit at Paramount pictures, I would have passed on completely because it couldn't be done, but they cobbled together a back stage story and filled the picture with very talented people and despite the ludicrous goings on, had me wondering what the hell is this? Having some small background in radio along the way, I got some but not all of the inside jokes.
The cast is evenly pretty good. Phillip Reed (a leading man of the day) is the harried producer, Ozzie Nelson as a larceny prone producer and schemer comes off better than I thought. Rudy Vallee as well as the over-bearing sponsor is right on target. Jack Haley as the local star trying to make it happen is also very good. Various others and musical numbers are also scattered about the film. Art Linkletter the "star" of the radio show has not much more than a long cameo or two. At the end of the picture look for a short comedian who would later become the last 3 Stooges member, Joe DeRita.
The program ran on radio and television from 1938 into 1961. I remember hearing it on radio, but for the life of me can't remember why. Enjoy.